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Market Update

Australian Home Approvals Plunge 13%, Rate Cut Hopes Cut Market Losses

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 9:33 AM ET July 30 2013

5:10 PM Sydney – Australian indexes rebounded from the low and barely closed higher after supportive comments from Reserve Bank governor. New home approvals in Australia plunged 13% from a year ago. Leighton won a $2.8 billion contract to build casino in Macau.

Australian stocks barely closed higher but rebounded from the session’s low after supportive comments for a possible rate cut from Reserve Bank chief.

The ASX 200 index edged up 0.90 to close at 5,047.20 and the broader All Ordinaries slid 1.60 to 5,026.30.

Australian dollar declined to 90.80 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover jumped to 775 million shares worth $4.3 billion.

New home construction approval in June declined 6.9%, Australian Bureau of Statistics said today. The building approvals dropped 13% from a year ago.

In the month, 12,778 new homes were approved for construction compared to 13,727 in the previous month.

Stocks in Review

Rio Tinto jumped 60 cents to $57.71 and yesterday the miner agreed to sell its majority stake in North-Parkes copper mine in Australia for $820 million or £532.5 million to China based Molybdenum Co Ltd.

BHP gained 40 cents to $34.95. Woodside Petroleum Limited fell 12 cents to $37.38.

David Jones Limited rose 2 cents to $2.67 and Breville Group slipped 10 cents to $7.35.

Woolworths dropped 55 cents to $33.22 said sales in the fourth quarter ending in June climbed 8.9% to $ 14.06 billion and for the year sales jumped 4.3% to $59.16 billion from a year ago.

Mirvac Group fell 5 cents to $1.66 and Lend Lease slid 14 cents to $8.82.

Westpac added 4 cents to $30.86 and Commonwealth increased 0.2% to $74.03. National Australia Bank gained 3 cents to $31.19. ANZ slipped 5 cents to $29.59.

Beach Energy Limited increased 1.5% to $1.35 after the oil and gas explorer lifted revenue estimate for the year to $698.2 million.

Leighton Holdings Limited gained 2.6% to $16.72 after the property developer secured a contract to build a luxury hotel resort in Macau worth $2.8 billion.

Navitas Limited slid 1 cent to $5.99 after the educational service provider said revenue in the year ending in June increased 6% to $731.73 million from $688.5 million a year earlier. Net profit for the year rose 1.6% to $74.56 million compared to $73.15 million.

Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc